No magic bullet for mitigation of air pollution; govt, citizens need to work in synergy, says Union Minister Prakash Javadekar

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New Delhi: Two days ahead of the meeting with Environment Ministers of Delhi and neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, the Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar said that the Central, state government and citizens need to work together towards mitigation of air pollution. 

Javadekar expressed that it is a shared responsibility and highlighted that the problem of air pollution in the winter months in the Northern states especially Delhi, apart from man-made factors are caused by meteorological and geographical factors. 

There’s no magic bullet for mitigation of #AirPollution .The factors are meteorological and geographical which gets exacerbated by man made factors every year during 2-3 months. Centre, Delhi govt.,neighboring states & citizens need to work in synergy. Its a shared responsibility pic.twitter.com/5j4PCwAZEK

— Prakash Javadekar (@PrakashJavdekar) September 29, 2020

Stating that recognition of any problem is first step towards its solution, Javadekar said that in 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the real-time Air Quality Index which acts as a key input in identifying pollution hotspots and directing policy efforts towards mitigation of Air Pollution. 

“The problem of air pollution in winters especially in New Delhi is also related to meteorological reasons as well,” said the Minister.

Notably, the ventilation index, defined as the product of wind speed and mixing height, is a significant factor affecting Delhi’s Air Quality. Winters are dominated by cold, dry air, and ground based inversion with low wind conditions, which makes the air stagnant and creates an unfavourable condition for dispersion. The wind blows from India’s north and north-west to the east direction during winters which ultimately results in the combination of pollution and fog, leading to heavy smog formation in Delhi, mainly during winters. The severity is further escalated due to rise in local and regional air polluting sources.

The Environment Minister also talked about the measures taken by the Central government in the past few years towards mitigation of air pollution. These include the closure of Badarpur power plant, phasing out of Sonipat power plant, the introduction of less polluting BS-VI vehicles and fuel standards, speedier completion of the peripheral expressway in Delhi, subsidy to e-vehicles etc.

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